Death of the Most Reverend Jean-Guy Hamelin, Bishop Emeritus of Rouyn-Noranda

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Mgr Hamelin(CCCB – Ottawa)... The Most Reverend Jean-Guy Hamelin, Bishop Emeritus of Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, died on 1 March 2018 at the long-term care centre Maison Pie-XII in Rouyn-Noranda at the age of 92. After 27 years as first Bishop of the Diocese of Rouyn-Noranda, he had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law, and which was accepted on 29 November 2001.

Bishop Hamelin was born on 8 October 1925 in Saint-Séverin-de-Proulxville, Québec. After his formation at the Grand Séminaire de Trois-Rivières, he was ordained a priest in 1949 for the Diocese of Trois-Rivières. He later obtained licentiates in theology at the Pontifical Angelicum University and in social sciences at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. After returning to Québec in 1955, he first taught at the Grand Séminaire in Trois-Rivières until 1958, and then over the next six years lectured on social action, the social teaching of the Church and sociology throughout Québec. After serving from 1964 to 1968 as director of the then French Sector Social Action Department of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, he became General Secretary of the Assembly of Québec Bishops, where he was serving when appointed Bishop of Rouyn-Noranda on 29 November 1973.

As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Hamelin served as Co-Treasurer (1980-1983 and 1989-1991), Vice President (1983-1985 and 1991-1993) and President (1993-1995). He was also member of the former Commission for Social Affairs (1974-1989), member on what was then the Administrative Board and is now the Permanent Council (1975-1985, 1989-1995), member of the Task Force on CCCB Future Directions (1989-1991), and as member of the former Commission for Relations with Associations of Priests, Religious and Laity (1995-1999). Bishop Hamelin was also a CCCB representative on the National Council of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. In 1987, he was a CCCB delegate to the VII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World. In 1994, he was appointed by the Holy Father as a member of the Synod of Bishops on The Church in Africa and its Evangelizing Mission Towards the Year 2000.

His body will lie in state in St. Joseph's Cathedral, Rouyn-Noranda, on 16 March, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with celebration of the Eucharist at 4:15 pm, and from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm with celebration of the Word at 7:30 pm and Vigil Prayer at 9:00 pm., and on 17 March beginning at 9:00 am. The Most Reverend Dorylas Moreau, Bishop of Rouyn-Noranda, will preside at the funeral Mass on 17 March at 11:00 am in the Cathedral, followed by interment in Saint-Michel Cemetery.

Last Updated on Monday, March 05 2018  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.